About the Author


Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks is an international religious leader, philosopher, and respected moral voice. The author of over 30 books, Rabbi Sacks has received multiple awards in recognition of his work including the 2016 Templeton Prize. He is the recipient of 17 honorary doctorates, was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen in 2005 and made a Life Peer, taking his seat in the House of Lords in October 2009. He served as the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from 1991 to 2013.

These weekly teachings from Rabbi Sacks are part of the ‘Covenant & Conversation’ series on the weekly Torah reading. Read more essays from the series on www.rabbisacks.org.

Now available for additional learning: The FAMILY EDITION of Covenant & Conversation, designed to enhance your parsha conversation with everyone from teenagers to great-great-grandparents. To read and print this new learning resource, for an inter-generational discussion around your Shabbat table on Rabbi Sacks’ ideas for the week, click here!


Evolution or Revolution?

There are, it is sometimes said, no controlled experiments in history. Every society, every age,...

Three Versions of Shabbat

Corresponding to three ways one encounters God.

The Connection between Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism

Anti-Zionism is the latest mutations of the world’s longest hate.

Thinking Fast and Slow

For the Torah Portion in Israel, click here: https://www.aish.com/tp/i/sacks/509182821.html If we...

From Priest to People

Something fundamental happens at the beginning of this parsha and the story is one of the greatest...

The Power of Speech

Language, in Judaism, is the basis of creation, revelation, and the moral life.

The Sacrifices of Childbirth

At the start of this parsha is a cluster of laws that challenged and puzzled the commentators....

Between Hope and Humanity

It should have been the great day of celebration. The Tabernacle, Israel's first collective house...

Destructive and Self-Destructive

This sedra, speaking about sacrifices, prohibits the eating of blood: Wherever you live, you...

On Jewish Character

Pekudei has sometimes been called the accountant's parsha, because that is how it begins, with the...

A Stiff-Necked People

It is a moment of the very highest drama. The Israelites, a mere forty days after the greatest...

Brothers: A Drama In Five Acts

At last, brothers learn to live together in unity.

A Portable Home

The Divine Presence lives not in a building but in its builders; not in a physical place but in the human heart.

Loving the Stranger

God made us into the world's archetypal strangers so that we would fight for the rights of strangers.

Mount Sinai and the Birth of Freedom

At Sinai, the politics of freedom was born.

The Divided Sea: Natural or Supernatural?

The splitting of the Reed Sea is engraved in Jewish memory. We recite it daily during the morning...

Against Their Gods

The ninth plague - darkness - comes shrouded in a darkness of its own. What is this plague doing...

The God Who Acts In History

The Israelites were at their lowest ebb. They had been enslaved. A decree had been issued that...

The Light at the Heart of Darkness

Tyranny cannot destroy humanity. Moral courage can sometimes be found in the heart of darkness.

The Future of the Past

The scene that brings the book of Genesis to a close is intensely significant. Joseph's brothers...

Jewish Strength is Not in Their Numbers

Don’t count Jews; count their vast contributions.

Does My Father Love Me?

It is one of the great questions we naturally ask each time we read the story of Joseph. Why did...

The Universal and the Particular

The story of Joseph is one of those rare narratives in Tenach in which a Jew (Israelite/Hebrew)...

Refusing Comfort, Keeping Hope

The deception has taken place. Joseph has been sold into slavery. His brothers dipped his coat in...

Physical Fear, Moral Distress

Twenty-two years have passed since Jacob fled his brother, penniless and alone; twenty-two years...

When the "I" is Silent

In the silence of the "I," we meet the "Thou" of God.

On Judaism and Islam

The language of the Torah is, in Erich Auerbach's famous phrase, "fraught with...

God and Strangers

God appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance to his tent in the heat of...

Abraham’s Journey: Four Dimensions

To be a child of Abraham is to have the courage to be different, to challenge the idols of the age.

A Drama In Four Acts

The maturation of humanity through the prism of responsibility and moral development.

Three Stages of Creation

The enormous challenge and privilege to be like God.

Emotional Intelligence

In March 2015 I had a public conversation at Yale with the University's President Peter Salovey....

The Second Mountain

What do you do when you have achieved it all, when you have risen to whatever career heights fate...

Investing Time: Ten Life-Changing Principles

Judaism is the satellite navigation system of the soul, and Rosh Hashanah is the day we stop and see whether we need to change direction.

The World Is Waiting For You

Something remarkable happens in this week's parsha, almost without our noticing it, that changed...

The Story We Tell

Judaism’s uniqueness of transforming history into memory.

Social Capital: Gauging the Health of Society

Wealth has nothing to do with money and everything to do with the level of trust within a society.

Jewish Monarchy: To Lead Is To Serve

Our parsha talks about monarchy: "When you enter the land that the Lord your God is giving...

Don't Define Yourself as a Victim

In any given situation we can look back or we can look forward.

Listen, Really Listen

If we can't truly listen to other people, then we certainly can't listen to God, whose otherness is not relative but absolute.

Making Love Last

Mitzvot are the framework that keeps love alive.

The Effective Critic

The first verse of Devarim, the fifth and culminating book of the Torah, sounds prosaic....

Miles To Go Before I Sleep

Etre ailleurs, "To be elsewhere - the great vice of this race, its great and secret virtue,...

Seven Principles for Maintaining Jewish Dialogue

How to overcome disagreements respectfully to ensure we continue to thrive as a people.

The Lost Masterpiece

We inherit what we truly love.

A People That Dwells Alone

Assimilation is no cure for Anti-Semitism.

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